Regency Diaries & Letters

Working with primary sources sometimes means panning for those little tidbits of news or feelings that shine and sparkle. I’d like to share some of those nuggets with readers of Two Teens in the Time of Austen, starting with the “Regency Years”.

Kelly reads an extract (on YouTube)
Mamma Smith’s letter to Eliza Gosling, January 1797


listen to letter excerpts on SoundCloud

LadySmith-silhouetteThe {Sheldonian} Theatre contains 4000 people and there were 12,000 applications made to get in, they shewed us the Chairs in which {word missing} the emperor and king of Prussia, they were of velvet and very handsomely mounted in gold, and I had the honour to sit in both of them.

Mary Gosling, 1814

Papa, Mrs Sandoz my Sister my two brothers and myself went in a four oared boat to Nuneham William and Robert rowed us and as they could not get any other young men to row us they got two fishermen and Miss Burton’s butler steered us.  Mama Dr. and Miss Burton were in the open carriage, we passed two locks, which though we were led to think them dangerous, we did not find at all unpleasant…

Mary Gosling, 1814

Thursday [August 21st] after breakfast we took a walk to visit Lady Pechell, who lives about two miles from Bersted, in a very pretty cottage near the sea shore  on our return home, we paid two or three visits and walked about the Grounds.  There was a large party to dinner, and more came in the evening, when we danced a little

Mary Gosling, 1817

Hastings is a small town, consisting of a great number of narrow streets with low built houses, the Crown where we lodged was situated in the Centre, at a small distance from the Sea, after breakfast we walked in the town and along the sea shore, we attempted to go up to the Castle, which is all in ruins, and is situated on the summit of a very high hill, but were not able to reach the top, the wind being so very high, we could hardly keep on our legs.  At three o’clock we went on two donkey chaises to Lovers seat.

Mary Gosling, 1818

Smith_Susan Mackworth PraedWe dined with Sir D: and Lady Smith – the first time of my going out for a fortnight – the cold was very severe – and the fog so great that we were obliged to have two Servants to walk before the Carriage with Flambeaux  the Coachman could not See the Horses heads…

Mrs Thomas Smith, 1814

tremendous fall of Snow which prevented all communication with the Northern and western roads for several days – the Thames on Monday the 21st presented a complete field of Ice between London and Blackfryars Bridge – and the whole Space between the two Bridges were covered With people – Booths were erected – and tradespeople sold Books toys and Trinkets  a number of Printers brought their presses – pulled off various impressions which they Sold for a trifle – by way of commemorating the remarkable severity of the frost

Mrs Thomas Smith, 1814

Monday 1st A Jubilee in commemoration of the Peace  it began in the Morning with a Fair – in Hyde Park – & a Naval review on the Serpentine River – in the Evening a fine display of fire Works in the Green Park – We Saw them from Lady Burges – where we staid till 2 OClock in the Morning —

Mrs Thomas Smith, 1814

We have heard … Buonaparte has entered Paris & the Duchess of Angouleme is come to England with the Duchess of Wellington

Emma Smith, 1815

The riots continued & Aunt Chute Caroline Miss Ramsay & Fanny went with the Northamptons to see Kean.

Emma Smith, 1815

Friday 3  Aunt left town & Took Spencer  We went to the Goslings in the evening / The princess Charlotte was married to the Prince of Saxe Coburgh. The ceremony was performed at Carleton house & afterwards they went to Oatlands.

Emma Smith, 1816

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